Published: February 2nd 2007December 17th 2006
Stardate, 17th december. Some minor problems with the craft.....
Today was the big day. The start of our bikeride through the middle east, central asia, and russia. Last night i found it hard to sleep, nervous energy sourging through my body. I tossed and turned, constantly thinking about the road ahead, did i have enough gear, would my skinny white legs hold up to the challenge. After several hours of this mental tooing and frowing, and rolling around in bed i managed a few hours of fitful sleep.
The insecent monophonic noise of Spiders alarm woke us at about 7am. We timidly got our gear together and had a quick shower and breakfast. I was somewhat disconcerted about the height (and weight) of my trailer. Surely, i mused, the bags shouldnt stick three feet above the frame. I voiced my concerns to Spider and we both agreed "she'll be right". We bith confessed to being pretty nervous about the ride, but this was definately a good thing, at least we were both on the same wavelength.
The first stop was to the post office.
And we stopped there for a while!
As it turned out having
Great little sunset for the first night of the ride!
the bags stick a couple of feet above the trailer turned it into a rolling piece of destruction (think of a massively overloaded truck that is swaying and swerving in the wind). The inertia this thing had when i made even the most subtle turn was rediculous.
So taking the bull by the horns we pulled up at the post office and i proceeded to empty all my gear and bellongings onto the road. It was a unique feeling having all my worldly possessions, underdaks included laying on the road. There were a few quizical looks from passerbys, but i was more concerned about getting rid of all the crap i didn't need.
And there was a lot of it! By gum, there was. It was a good feeling exorcising all the stuff that in normal life i would consider essential, but now took on a different meaning, they werent objecs of desire, or fashion, they were purely objects of weight, all utility they now had was reduced to a metric weight, and with each piece i was throwing out it meant less for me to cart around.
Two pair of shorts (150g), boots (2kg), three shirts
The first camp
Ready for anything
(350g), socks (50g), deoderant (20g), hoodie jumper (350g), trailer bag (3kg), random junk i cant remember now (1kg).
All in all it added up to 7kg. Wholly crap, what a load of stuff i didnt need. I was now down to the bare necessities, one pair of pants, some socks, undies, 2 jackets, and thermals.
Unfortunately for yours truly (and Spider) the post office wasnt open. I was super, super frustrated by this time. Our grand start to the adventure had to be put off by a day. Being the indoninable creatures we are, we made our way back to the pansyion, with me cursing and cursing all the way, grabbed some beers and got drunk. Mmmmmmm, beer.
Tomorrow would be a new day i thought, there would be many more hicups along the road, in the long run this would be a minor one. I drifted off to sleep listening to the soothing sounds of Ella Fitzgerald.
The next day we started anew. I posted my junk and we headed off in the direction of Develli. The road qualiyu was pretty good however there were a few steep and punishing hills that soon sorted us out. I started to look with disgust at my traıler, now dubed the trailer of death, you mean ive got to drag this friggen thing around the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia for the next 4-5 months. Shit!
After a good days riding (with one Spider stack) through some rolling plains and small off the map kind of towns where kids go bezzerk at the sight of us, we struck camp at around 2:30pm. It was a great place for our first camp, under the shadow of the snow covered Erçiyes Daği (Mt Erjeyes).